A group called the Digital Public Library of America is attempting to accomplish the impossible: put a book in the hands of every American. Technically, they won't bring a book into the hands of every American but they'd make them available online for every American with internet access. DPLA's plan would consolidate public, university, and academic societies' libraries into a larger, more accessible database. Though members of the group still wonder how it'll all work out in the end, particularly what the site itself will look like, they have hope in the internet and their mission - a commendable one. However, as we enter a sci-fi world of electronic databases, we must remember that not every American has internet access. And, if internet freedom still remains threatened by corporations, this project must make it so that intellectual resources realistically become available to every American. Otherwise they're goal "to educate, inform and empower everyone in the current and future generations" won't be fulfilled. This and other digitally found news bites you need to know:
- The European Union continues to struggle with LGBT issues among member states. How can a union of 27 different sovereign nations with different histories and customs ensure certain rights and liberties for its citizens in all these states? As more people enjoy the open borders of the EU, many LGBT couples discover how complicated it can be to move from country to country.
- Remember all those times last year when house Republicans threatened to shut down the government if they didn't get what they wanted? You know - the tantrums that would stop our country in its tracks? GOP Sen. Rob Portman is having none of that anymore. He has proposed legislation that would prevent a government shut down if the house GOP goes into another hissy-fit. Yet, the proposed legislature could also ensure that the government be shut down, since it plans to defund government slowly.
- Cuba's Raul Castro says negotiations with the United States are possible if done between equals, though seeing how the US has behaved towards Latin America for about 200 years, I doubt that would happen easily.
- The International Olympic Committee has introduced a new method by which it can determine an Olympians gender, to avoid future incidents similar to Caster Semenya's. However, the new test would rely on inconclusive facts like testosterone levels, potentially threatening other women's chances of participating.
- We now have even more proof that Republicans' plans for the economy don't make any sense at all. When economists from any side of the political spectrum disagree with your economic ideas, shouldn't it be time to admit your party has a problem?
- The battle continues in Arizona between immigrant rights advocates and Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his supporters. The Sheriff was in court fighting off a lawsuit charging him with racial profiling. Outside the courthouse, protestors were arrested by police for blocking the courthouse's entrance, revealing their legal status.
- Do gay men make better bosses? It seems that coming out and living in constant fear when younger can make us more compassionate bosses, but is it also a huge generalization? You be the judge.
(img src: NY Public Library via Photobucket)